Weblog: What do you mean the Wi-Fi doesn't work? The life of a Racing Post reporter
Night of disaster and triumph in the desert
PLEASE forgive me. No blog last night. Hope you understand why.
Never have I seen a more gruesome sight on a racecourse. Fox Hunt horribly, catastrophically injured in the Dubai Gold Cup. Flailing helplessly.
Now, fatalities are unfortunately inevitable in racing.
The arguments justifying the price we have to pay for our sport are well rehearsed and I make some of them in a reflections piece in tomorrow's paper.
But this was a particularly grim, stomach-churning incident and immediate discussion in the essentially light-hearted forum of a web blog did not seem at all appropriate.
It's of no consequence whatsoever given what had happened but the voiding of the race and restaging it 45 minutes after the last when we already had very tight copy deadlines made for a very busy night.
And there was enough in what happened elsewhere on the evening to show just why so many think it's a price worth paying.
Such as Cityscape's Frankel-style romp to victory. I think he might just have been a good thing for that race he was pulled out of at Pontefract last summer.
Or the joy of Mickael Barzalona as he stood up in the saddle and punched the air in delight well before the line on World Cup winner Monterosso - his exhilaration matched by scenes in the winner's enclosure which rivalled Aintree in Monty's Pass's year.
It was an understandably Flat-dominated day but there was one Champion Hurdle-winning jockey in the thick of things.
Not sure if the television coverage back home included shots from the paddock but if it did you may just have spotted a familiar face with Dubai Duty Free runner Await The Dawn - Dean Gallagher, leading up a runner for the first time since he was 16.
Though you can be forgiven for not knowing it was him as he's not quite what he was in the days of Hors La Loi III and the rest - literally, as he's lost an awful lot of weight and I scarcely recognised him when I bumped into him outside the hotel last night.
That trim figure is down to his reinvention - after what can best be described as a 'colourful' few years - as a workrider at Ballydoyle.
But he's still the same engagingly talkative guy as ever he was, incredibly helpful with a quote or several during his riding days.
Incredibly helpful today were the men on virtually every gate and door in the place. Any reporter used to going racing in Britain approached each in expectation of a 'can I see your badge?You're not coming in here' only to for them to open said door or gate and usher you through.
Their politeness was contagious. Which was dangerous.
There was a woman from one of the TV channels approaching as I emerged from the gents early in the afternoon so I instinctively held the door open for her.
Only to spot very quickly from the look on her face that she really was not very keen on going in.